Typically adult patients come in for a hearing test because they have noticed difficulty hearing, fullness in the ears, ringing, or dizziness. The purpose for doing a hearing evaluation in an adult is to see if there is a hearing loss, determine if it is medically treatable, and to see if the patient is a candidate for hearing aids.
Here is what to expect from your hearing evaluation:
- Tympanometry - This test uses a small probe placed in the ear to determine the function of the ear drum. You will likely feel a little pressure in the ear during the test. This is used to rule out any fluid behind the ear drum and will show if there is a hole in the ear drum.
- Speech Recognition Threshold - You will be asked to repeat some two-syllable words as they decrease in volume. This test looks to see the softest sound at which you can understand speech. Don't get frustrated, it's okay to guess.
- Pure-tone testing - This test requires that you raise your hand or say "yes" when you hear the beep. This allows me to see the softest sounds that you can hear for a number of pitches. It also shows where the hearing loss is located and whether it may be medically treatable.
- Word Recognition Score - During this test I will have you repeat words at a comfortably loud level. The words will begin with a carrier phrase "say the word..." This test allows me to see if I make the words loud enough, how well are you able to understand them. Patients who have a high word recognition score will do well with hearing aids, since the increase in volume allows them to understand speech very well.
Upon completion of the test, you will be counseled on the next step of treatment. Sometimes, a medical condition exists in which it is best to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat Physician. If no medical condition exists and hearing loss is present, you will be scheduled for a hearing aid consultation where we will discuss your hearing aid options and even allow you to try them for yourself.